Why Do Women Really Wear High Heeled Shoes?

Mar 24, 2014 1 Comment by

High Heels – they look stunning – but ask women – do they really love themhigh heels photo credit flickr.com/photos/free-stock/4900303548/?

The high heeled shoe is often a subject of controversy. Women often complain of the effects these shoes have on their backs and leg tendons. They suffer with foot problems after extended use of these shoes, and even are prone to more slip and fall accidents because of them. Yet, every day women reach for these same shoes and put them back on.

There are high heels that are used to work in all day as well as more glamorous styles for evening wear. Women usually stick to a 3 inch heel for work and 4 inches or higher when they are going out. If these heels cause so many problems, why continue to wear them? The answer is simple: men.

The History of the High Heel

Men were the first people to ever wear heeled shoes. At first, these heels were designed to help men stay sure-footed while riding a horse because it kept their feet secure in the stirrup. Later in history, men began to wear heels as a sign of wealth and prosperity.

At this time, women were in flat shoes because they were more practical. Men complained of how much these heels hurt their feet, and women chose to create slipper-like shoes that were sturdy for everyday wear and bejeweled for special occasions.

In the 1500’s women began to place heels on their shoes as a way to show that they were wealthy. Having heels on a woman’s shoes meant that she did not have to do a lot of labor each day to maintain her home or to support her family. It was thought of as impractical to wear heels to work in all day. At this time, women did not show their legs or their ankles in proper society, so the attractiveness of a woman in heels was not the issue.

As time progressed, it became a status symbol for a woman to stay in heels all day, and men encouraged this because it meant they were able to provide for a wealthy standard of living for their wife. Then, as dresses became shorter and more revealing, men and women alike noticed that wearing heels was attractive.

From that point forward women have worn heels as a way to look attractive and prosperous.

Health and Safety Issueshigh heels photo credit flickr.com/photos/simpleskye/9176007648/

While it is safe to say that women will continue to wear high heels for at least the near future, these same women must take into account their health and safety. High heels place a great deal of stress on ankle and calf tendons, and have a tendency to cramp toes when the shoe is too pointy. Lower back issues can become very real if women spend too much time in heels that are over 3.5 inches tall. The best thing that a woman can do is try to spend equal or more time flat-footed so they can even out the effects of the heels.

As for safety, high heels are a leading cause of slip and fall accidents for women. Because the back of the heel rarely provides support to the body, slick floors, ice, and debris in walkways can be very hazardous. Slip resistant pads can be placed on these shoes, but does not necessarily guarantee that the woman will not fall.

Dating Symbols' guest author Domonique Powell is a die hard heel fan but after reading about a case at http://www.perecman.com/new-york-slip-and-fall-lawyer/ she was reminded that beauty does sometimes come with a high price. She cautions other heel lovers to strut with awareness.


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One Response to “Why Do Women Really Wear High Heeled Shoes?”

  1. Kandace Heller says:

    Women do love wearing heels, however I’m not sure I agree that they wear them for men. Many men think women walking around in six inch heels is just silly. I think most women wear them because it makes them feel good or because they look stylish to their peers (other women).

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